Many parents recognize the benefits of private schools over public schools.  Of course, this is always a personal choice for parents and the decision should be based on their own personal situation, preferences and values.  If you as parents are looking into private schools, we are spotlighting an option that is available in Omaha: Concordia Lutheran Schools.  The following information is from Rev. Jim Rasmussen, Chief Executive Officer of Concordia Lutheran Schools of Omaha:

We are a K-12 school system that operates two schools:  Concordia Academy, located at St. Mark Lutheran Church, one block south of 90th and Blondo Streets (K-6th, enrollment 175) and Concordia Jr.-Sr. High School (grades 7-12, enrollment 300) at 156th and Fort Streets.  We began offering Christ-centered education in 1998 when our first elementary school opened.  Our Jr.-Sr. High School opened in 2001.

We are affiliated with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod and are supported by 16 Lutheran congregations in and around Omaha.  However, about 40 percent of our students are non-Lutheran, including roughly 10 percent whose families list no church home.  We are open to students of any faith or no faith.

Our biggest news these days, and something that I think deserves great emphasis in your story, is that we are undergoing a major expansion of our Jr.-Sr. High campus.  A new, 1,200-seat gym, six new classrooms, an expanded commons and other improvements are under construction.  The addition will be ready for the start of school in the fall of 2013.   This project takes our school to a new level of excellence in our facilities.  It will enhance our students’ experience, and create more convenience and community for our families, enabling many more practices and events to be held on campus.  It will increase the capacity of the school from 300 to 375 students, enabling us to offer an outstanding, Christ-centered education to more families.   Kiewit Building Group of Omaha is our building contractor.  Schemmer Associates of Omaha was the lead architectural firm.

There are three benefits that I believe make our school stand out.  One is that our school is refreshingly personal.  That means our teachers take a personal interest in our students and get to know them personally.  They know their strengths, their individual differences and their unique needs, and work with each student as an individual to meet him or her where they are in their education and to help them learn and grow.

The second benefit is that our schools are academically rigorous.  Our students have consistently scored above state and national averages on standardized tests. Our high school seniors have averaged at or near 25 on the ACT over the past five years, compared with a state average of about 22.  Beginning with our first graduating class in 2005, nearly all our graduates — about 99 percent — have gone on to college.  We offer advanced placement classes and dual-credit classes that allow students to earn high school and college credit in the same class, for a reduced college tuition rate.  Our schools are a great investment.

The third strength and benefit to our students is that our schools are seriously Christian.  Each day our students spend time studying the Bible and/or receiving training in a Christian worldview.  Each week they attend chapel where Jesus Christ is proclaimed and praised.  The Christian aspect of our school is central to our mission, which is to prepare young people for lives of faith, service and leadership as Christian disciples.

Concordia is a good choice for students who want an outstanding, Christ-centered education in a loving environment and is willing to work hard academically.

A school of our size (about 50-55 students per grade in high school) also gives students the opportunity to excel in multiple extracurricular activities.  Concordia has an outstanding music program.  About 75 percent of our students in the Jr.-Sr. High School are involved in the music program in some way — one of the highest participation rates in the state.  Our offerings include offer concert band, jazz band, choir, select choir, strings, guitar, handbells, and musical plays.

In athletics, we compete in Class C-1 in Nebraska and are a member of the Centennial Conference with such schools as Boys Town, Elkhorn Mt. Michael, Wahoo Neumann and Fremont Bergan.  Our girls’ basketball and volleyball teams have each been to the state tournament twice in the past four years.

We’d love for anyone interested in our schools to go to to learn more.